Franciscan Sisters - Related Content

Praying for a blessed Holy Week

Thursday, March 29th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

May God guide our hearts as we begin the celebration of Holy Week.

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Image by Sister Amy Taylor

*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Marla celebrates, contemplates religious life in jubilee

Thursday, April 5th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Called to religious life and FSPA 50, 60 and even 70 years ago, our 2018 jubilarians are celebrating and contemplating. Show Me a Sign asked Sister Marla Lang — who embodies 60 years of ministry in education, community leadership and spirituality — to reflect on her discernment journey.

SMAS: How old were you when you first knew that you wanted to be a sister? How did God get your attention?

Sister Marla: I was 13 years old and my 8th grade teacher Sister Mary Louis, an FSPA, invited me to consider becoming a sister.

 

SMAS: How did your family and friends react when you told them about it?

Sister Marla: My parents made it clear to us as children that they wanted us to become whatever we desired as long as it was about being “good” to ourselves. They were very affirming.

 

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Sister Marla Lang, 1958

 

SMAS: Did you explore or visit different communities before choosing FSPA?

Sister Marla: Another community invited me to visit but just didn’t entice me. They were too formal, I sensed. After much pondering, I knew making final vows as a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration was a true calling for me. It remains so today.

 

SMAS: As you celebrate your jubilee, what do you recall as your most memorable moments as an FSPA?

Sister Marla: I truly enjoyed each ministry and each ministry prepared me for the next one I was led to:

  • I taught grades 3 through 8 full time for 11 years and then was asked to serve as a school principal and director of religious education, K-adult, for 10 years.
  • Those 21 years invited me to say “yes” to serving as a parish director in the absence of a resident pastor for 12 years.
  • All of these experiences led my FSPA sisters to ask that I serve eight years as community president.
  • Now, all of these ministries have enriched me to be with others at a spirituality center as a soul partner to many (serving in spiritual direction).

S-Marla-Lang

Today, Sister Marla ministers as the outreach coordinator at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin.

 

SMAS: What has been the most unexpected part of your life as an FSPA? 

Sister Marla: I never dreamed I would be called to serve as the FSPA president. I grew up as a mid-Wisconsin farm girl. It almost took my breath away to be a part of three other leadership teams (with 10 sisters) — the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis and the Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis. Together we were engaged in reconciliation FSE, OSF, FSPA process and companioning of an African Province of Sisters. The sharing of all this took place in Assisi, Italy before 365-ish Franciscan community leaders. It was a challenge and a blessing beyond my imagining.

 

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"It almost took my breath away," shares Sister Marla (pictured here, center) of her role with Franciscan communities gathered from across the globe to celebrate the Cameroon Common Venture -- Franciscan women of Africa.

 

SMAS: What advice would you give to a woman discerning religious life today?

Sister Marla: It is a gift of challenge and blessing beyond imagining when you put your whole self into your calling. Tending to discernment of the call requires prayer, guidance and openness, plus risking the goodness when found.

*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Sandra celebrates, contemplates religious life in jubilee

Thursday, May 3rd 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

Called to religious life and FSPA 50, 60 and even 70 years ago, our 2018 jubilarians are celebrating and contemplating. Show Me a Sign asked Sister Sandra DeMann — who embodies 50 years of ministry in health care, parish ministry and social justice — to reflect on her discernment journey.

 

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Sister Sandra DeMann celebrates her Golden Jubilee at St. Rose Convent's Mary of the Angels Chapel in April, 2018.

 

SMAS: What inspires you about religious life?

Sister Sandi: For me, living religious life is a journey. You don’t always know what is going to happen. I am a person who enjoys living with mystery. I know that God is with me and will help me through all that I encounter. I don’t need to have all of the answers. I enjoy searching for them. I spent part of my life ministering in Africa — it was there I learned that miracles happen.

 

SMAS: What has been your favorite time in ministry?

Sister Sandi: I enjoyed my time in Africa, but also enjoyed working in rural Mississippi. I was the Catholic presence to a parish community that was established in the 1800s. Because of their location, they did not always have a priest assigned to their parish. It was inspiring to see how the people worked together to maintain their parish. It was an area that chose to do something about isolation. Different denominations worked together rather than separately, to provide for the needs of the civic community.

 

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Pictured far right, Sister Sandra joins a group of women religious in Nogales, Arizona, for the SOAW Convergence at the Border in 2016.

 

SMAS: What wisdom would you share with someone who is considering religious life?

Sister Sandi:  Prayer and trust is important. If you have a dream, follow it. It may not take you where you thought it would but trust the process. Spend time in discernment. Remember that it is a walk of faith, and you will be guided along the way.

*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Sister Cormarie celebrates, contemplates religious life in jubilee

Thursday, April 26th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

Called to religious life and FSPA 50, 60 and even 70 years ago, our 2018 jubilarians are celebrating and contemplating. Show Me a Sign asked Sister Cormarie Wernimont — who embodies 60 years of ministry in dietetics, pastoral care and finance — to reflect on her discernment journey.

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During a gathering at St. Rose Convent, Sister Cormarie (right) is congratulated for her jubilee by Sister Esther Leis.
 

SMAS: How old were you when you first thought about becoming a sister?

Sister Cormarie: I was in the second grade. My teacher, Sister Charity, FSPA, asked if I was going to become a sister. I had not thought of it, but this idea remained in the back of my mind all through elementary and high school. I prayed about it for a long time, and gradually became aware that this was my calling.
 

SMAS: What attracted you to religious life?

Sister Cormarie: It was the belief that this is my calling.

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Sister Cormarie Wernimont, 1958
 

SMAS: What do you recall about making your final vows and realizing that you were making a life commitment?

Sister Cormarie: I most remember my acceptance into the novitiate program, receiving a new name and the religious habit, and also my first vows. In my heart, my vows were final the first time I spoke them.
 

SMAS: What has been the most unexpected part of your life as an FSPA?

Sister Cormarie: My first mission was at Sacred Heart Hospital (now known as Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center) in Idaho Falls, Idaho. This was an area where, as a Catholic, I learned what it felt like to be a minority. There were many challenges. There were also blessings: we experienced the beauty of the mountains, rivers and Meadow Lake. Nothing ever tasted as good as pancakes cooked over an open fire up in the mountains.
 

SMAS: What wisdom do you share with a woman discerning religious life today?

Sister Cormarie: Pray. Try to be open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Trust in God’s love and care.
 

*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.

Called to the right now of the journey

Thursday, May 10th 2018 10:00 am
Sister Amy Taylor, FSPA

 

I spend a lot of time in the car. I am usually in a hurry to complete my commute so that I can get to the tasks on my agenda for the day. I recently chose to walk to a meeting rather than drive. I figured the choice would take me about 15 minutes longer (give or take with parking). 

Moving through downtown on foot was really enjoyable. It was a sunny day, and pleasant to walk with just a light jacket. I greeted fellow pedestrians and noticed the surprise on their faces as they were momentarily startled from their own thoughts, muttering quick hellos in return. Somehow, whether driving our cars or walking down the street, many of us have been lured into fast-paced, silent, siloed commutes where our focus becomes the destination and not the experience along the way. 

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Image courtesy freeimages.com

This experience of encountering nature, people and the city unfolding before me has led me to reflect on Jesus and the stories we have from the Gospel of his travel with his disciples from place to place. He used the time on the road with his disciples to talk with them, to challenge them and to prepare them for the things that were to come. Their time on the road was not lost in the distraction of merely getting to the destination; the commute was filled with discussion, learning and perhaps time for comfortable, communal silence as they pondered the depths of their hearts amid the long, dusty miles of road. The road is also a place for questions and discovering new insights. 

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Image courtesy pixabay.com

It is rare that we take time to not just walk but to slow our pace and allow ourselves to become aware of the Spirit at work in our lives — when a walk becomes a gateway to prayer that soothes our souls and refocuses our vision. To choose to slow down rather than speed by we encounter nature, we look people in the eye rather than see a blur of humanity at 25 miles an hour. Walking is a contemplative practice. 

Discernment requires reducing your mental speed and paying attention. It is a time when we are called into a disruption of routine. God calls us to focus on the right now of the journey. We are invited to slow down, to connect and examine the experiences on the road and discover the wisdom on the way. 

What could happen if you choose to slow down this week?

*Do you know someone experiencing discernment of religious life? We invite you to share this link, www.fspa.org/showmeasign, and join the conversation.


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